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Iraq 14, Us 11, United States 9, Vietnam 9, Sarah Palin 7, Angie 6, America 6, Afghanistan 6, Romney 5, Karl Rove 5, Palin 5, Washington 4, Saddam Hussein 3, George W. Bush 3, U.s. 3, Wolfowitz 3, Neosporin 2, An Allstate 2, Dennis 2, George Bush 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.   
   (2013) New. (CC)  

    March 19, 2013
    2:00 - 3:00pm PDT  

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thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is right now. good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. the scariest aspect of the american invasion of iraq ten years ago ten was the ease with which it was sold to the american people. my generation grew up believing aggression was evil. in our schoolbooks and in the war games we played as kids, the aggressor was the bad guy. call this if you will a two basic way to look at war. it is, however, the way we were taught. hitler invaded poland, japan attacked the united states in pearl harbor. north korea invaded south korea. waging of aggressive war was the crime. in history and judgments
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following world war. i saw this one, the war in iraq coming from the first days after 9/11. there were those in the bush administration who saw this as their opportunity. they were helped by war hawks on the outside. the "washington post" op-ped page, the "weekly standard," the new republic" were open billboards for the relentless push toward war. establishment media joining in offering uncritical coverage of the administration line. this is not a good statement about the american press. i'd like to believe my generation, especially those who grow up in maturity to the horror of dishonesty of vietnam would have spoken loudly against the war hawks. few, mostly on the left, did. fewer from the middle. still fewer from the right. what's worse than that in those months of late 2001, 2002, and early 2003 to oppose the war when there was time to stop it, worse yet, the question is motivation, to cause trouble for yourself. even when a whole new vocabulary, wmd, homeland, regime change, freedom fries, coalition of the willing, was
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being confected and infiltrated into our national dialogue. the mainstream media was useless. even when the culture of the country, itself, country music was drafted into service with twisting appeals to vengeance for 9/11. remember how you felt? no wonder cheney's arrogant to this guy. no wasn'ter bu wonder bush is e clueless. all of them together got away with it. it was the people of silence. the newspaper editors. the network executives. the mostly respected columnists who know what they did and did not do who are wrestling now not with the history of the american invasion of rauiraq, we're all doing that, but their own history in doing nothing to ask the hard questions. persisting again and again with the hardest question of all, why? it had to be answered. in a language consistent with our american traditions? no. we're joined right now by nbc's great investigative correspondent michael isikoff. they're the co-authors of the book "hubris."
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i'm speaking now to two experts. ten years ago today, president george w. bush announced the start of the invasion of iraq. he told americans we were doing it prevent a terror attack on us. here he is. george w. >> our nation enters this conflict reluctantly. yet, our purpose is sure. the people of the united states and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. and i assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory. >> is he doing this -- i can't figure out george w. bush. maybe he's vacuous, working for cheney, or moved by the winds. he says in the opening speech why we said to war that very day. there will be no half measures. was that because his dad stopped
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short of taktake iing baghdad? >> there are a lot of reasons that drove the whole a administrati administration. there were people, maybe rumsfeld and cheney who had his view of oil and strategic minerals and all sorts of things close to the neocons. i think bush is in some ways the most simple and complicated of all. you can talk about what happened with his dad and saddam hussein, but i also think after 9/11 he felt this urge to be proactive. you know, go after afghanistan and then when that kind of faded away, he had to do something to show he was protecting the country. he needed a target. he needed to convince people, maybe convince himself, that he was doing something to protect america. everybody was pointing in the same direction. they all ended up in the same conclusi conclusion, iraq, let's get iraq. >> do you have a sense on this? why did bush want to do it? >> i mean, there is the famous line when he went to the fund-raiser in texas and says this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.
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that that i think was part of it. david summed it up very well. just one additional point in terms of the atmospherics surrounding 9/11. remember, bush did almost nothing about the warnings pre-9/11 from the intelligence community, and i think that if -- >> you mean al qaeda to attack in the united states? >> yeah. there were repeated warnings from the cia. >> richard clark was talking about it. >> they pretty much brushed aside. they were not focused on a threat from al qaeda, then 9/11 happened. if there was guilt about anything that was a factor in here would be we didn't do what we should have done prior to 9/11 so now we're going to take every threat super seriously. >> the odd thing is, one reason they didn't focus on al qaeda before 9/11 is because they were consumed with iraq. they kept dismissing al qaeda and saying iraq is the real
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threat. then 9/11 comes. >> many neocons thought iraq would be the first price, first piece of the puzzle reordering the middle east. here's what dick cheney said during the run-up to the war. "regime change in iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. the freedom loving people of the region will have chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace." why would he say iraq even then? >> i think it goes back to the fact for years, five, six, seven years before 9/11, the neocons and others were focused on iraq because they thought they could basically get a foot hold there. you can't take out iran, you might take out iraq. >> it was breakable. >> it was breakable. it was doable. it was hittable. you can't do the same operation against iran. they needed a target. and that was an -- not an easy, but, you know, seemed the easiest target for them. i do think they believe their own spin. if you got in there, everything would fall into place. >> let's get to the positive side. let's talk the freedom agenda. the notion, we all argued about
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at the time, to somehow if you broke iraq, a bad administration, you could replace it with something like democracy. then the neocons, the intellectuals would say this. somehow that would spread around the region. i haven't heard that argument. >> no, well, because it obviously didn't work. >> we've had the arab spring, though, which is a much more rocky proposal. >> to some extent, let's not forget the role of ahmed chalabi. >> the guy in the gold shoes, the gold pants. >> the iraqi exile, snake oil salesman as we called him at "newsweek" at one point. wolfowitz gave the interview the other day of the "sunday times" of london. he was one of chalabi's champions. you know, wolfowitz, fife, pearl, all them. >> tony miller. chalabi, he said the other day he wasn't straight with us. >> okay. >> this is one of the first mea
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culpas on that i've heard yet. >> if you want to believe something, you'll believe anything. the war was sold to the public, however, as necessary to stop a mad man who was intent on, here's the key word, amassing an arsenal of weapons including nuclear weapons. let's listen to the buildup here. >> we know they have weapons of mass destruction. we know they have active programs. there isn't any debate about it. >> i believe saddam hussein presents a clear and present danger to the united states of america with his continued pursuit to acquire weapons of weapons of mass destruction and there's very little doubt he would use them. >> simply stated, there is no doubt that saddam hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. there is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. >> the problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapon. but we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. >> they kept doing this shell
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game. whenever they couldn't prove nuclear, they'd say wmd. then they would throw in the word mushroom cloud to make sure you knew it was nuclear. then this drone they said he had and somehow became an existential threat to the united states. how did they put it all together? >> this was throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what would stick. they would drop things, come back to them. depends on the -- >> i believe it had nothing to do with wmd. >> certainty, certainty, certainty. no doubt he's amassing. this there was plenty of doubt. they kept making it, listen, saddam hussein, as you said, is an existential threat to united states. even if head some wmds, it doesn't mean he's a threat to the united states. but they conflated all this together. >> you showed that clip there of cheney giving the speech at the vfw cutting to ziny. he says in "hubris" which will
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rae air friday night on this network, when he heard cheney make those remarks he literally bolted from his chair. he was in total shock at hearing cheney make those comments. he knew, he had seen all the intelligence of commander in chief of setcom up until 2008. >> it was a cost/benefit sales program. they basically said we have to do it. the mushroom cloud. >> that was the public argument. >> then they would say to us, don't worry, it will be a quickie, a cake walk. those pushing the war argued it was necessary and would pay for itself. that was another part of it. the gas would pay for it. here was dick cheney. let's watch. >> do you think the american people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant american casualties? >> i don't think it's likely to unfold that way, tim, because i really do believe we will be liberators. >> well, there's bill kristol, one of the other leading war
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hawks. he said he predicted the duration of the war would be short as well. let's listen to this group think here. >> whatever else you can say about this war, let me just make one point. george bush is not fighting this like vietnam. we don't need to re-fight the history of vietnam. >> saddam -- >> it's not going to happen. this is going to be a two-month war, not an eight-year war. >> daniel ellsberg who knew about earlier wars. >> they said whatever it took. they had no backup for this sort of stuff. we were talking at the time to analysts in the strategic war colleges and others who were coming up with reports saying this could take forever. we don't know the difference between a sunni and a shia. they may not greet us as liberators. for everything they said with assurance, you could find people at the time who knew better. >> we are all part of organizations. i'm part of the organization here. and you get into a group thinking, you all talk to each other like you're on a common effort. you know what you're doing here, putting on a pretty good television show about politics. when did they decide they were going to war, michael?
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when did everybody know -- the theme here is, stop arguing about it, we're going. >> nobody knows the answer to that question. talk to every single person in the bush administration who was there at the time. they say it was never clear when the decision was made. there was never a meeting. there was never an actual breakpoint. >> isn't that astounding? didn't anybody raise their hand and say, when did we decide to do this? >> it was an assumption that sort of congealed. >> this is when i get chilled. i'm getting a chill. this is what i'm afraid of in american life. >> right after 9/11 -- >> nobody's thinking. >> rumsfeld, pointing to iraq. and bush, to his partial credit, says, no, we're going to do afghanistan first. don't bother me with another war. >> i get that report, myself. >> but soon after that, within months, you know, they're talking to the commanders about putting up a war plan. >> by the end of 2001, i think the deal was on. >> look, yeah, one of the new documents we have in "hubris" in the documentary is the rumsfeld talking points for his meeting
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in november, 2001. one of the talking points, how to start the war. >> you're right. >> what are we going to use as the pretext? >> michael, you guys are great. i could do this all night. michael, david, thank you. >> thank you, chris. >> i mean it. a big thank you for what you've written and done. by the way, as michael said, 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc we're going to have a re-air of that terrific documentary "hubris" based on the book by these two great guys. michael isikoff and david corn and going to be presented by rachel maddow. after the documentary, a special panel to talk about the bush administration, how it misled the country, misled itself, getting us into that destructive war in iraq. that's called "talking hubris." airs at 10:00 this friday night. the cost of war. 100,000 iraqi civilians dead. nearly 4,500 americanss dead. 32,000 americans wounded. what kind of care do those wounded americans get now since they've been back stateside? we don't think enough about the
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people with broken bodies that come home, do we? not enough. plus back to politics. the empire strikes back. a lot of people on the right are very unhappy with this big republican, the big shots i'm telling them what they have to do to change. they don't want to change. rush limbaugh says the problem is not that the gop is too conservative, it's that it's not conservative enough. is that what the gop is? is that why they lost five of the last six elections? not conservative enough? see what happens when republicans start attacking each other. the main event. i'd go on the road with this baby. sarah palin. let me start with the republican party. it's a beaut to watch. this is "hardball" the place for politics. how about v8 v-fusio. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8.
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netanyahu. topping the agenda, iran's nuclear ambitions. thursday he will meet with mahmoud abbas. then friday it's on to jordan for meetings with king abdullah before returning back to washington on saturday. we'll be right back. [ birds chirping ] i'm your hot water heater. you hardly know i exist. that's too bad. 'cuz if my pressure relief valve gets stuck... [ booooooom! ] ...we hot water heaters can transform into rocket propelled wrecking balls. and if you got the wrong home insurance coverage, it's your bank account that might explode. so get allstate. [ dennis ] good hands. good home. make sure you have the right home protection. talk to an allstate agent. work the camera... work it!
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welcome back to "hardball." of all the ways the iraq war was sold to the american people under false pretense, one of the most galling was we could win this war on the cheap both in lives and in treasure. a new report from brown university, the cost of war studty, proves just how wrong that early promise was. the cost in lives was of course overwhelm and far more than predicted. in total, 190,000 people lost their lives due to the war. 70% of them were iraqi civilians. that's 190,000 people dead. to give you an idea of the enormity of that number, enough people died in that war to fill yankee stadium. there it is. every seat of that stadium four times. and the cost of the iraq war was
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the other con job, the financial cost sold to the american people. the brown university study estimates the iraq war did eventually cost this country over $2 trillion. $2.2 trillion. hardly the price tag they were pushing in the beginning. michael hastings writes for "buzz feed" and covered the iraq war for "rolling stone" and wrote a book about it. "i lost my love if baghdad." a personal story. his latest story is "panic." paul rieckhoff, executive director and founder of the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. from 2003 to 2004 he served as army first lieutenant in iraq. let me start with michael about the cost figures. i have to call it the b.s. that was sold. this war was going to be paid for by cheap gas. cheap gasoline. somehow were they going to open up the pipeline from iraq over to america, would get all that stuff? we get first dibs? we got nothing of the kind. let's start with the lives. 190,000 dead people. >> if you remember famously
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general eric chinseki said we would need more troops to do this and he was dismissed. paul wolfowitz did make the crime iraqi oil revenues would be able to pay for this conflict. and not only would the selling the war point and the costs of the war, you know, in your last segment you made this great point about the media. it's even -- you can go even further than that. the media was complicit. the media took an active role in selling this war. they met with wolfowitz. there's one famous meeting where you had top columnists and pundits meeting with wolfowitz trying to figure out the best way to sell this thing. it's not a shock the facts we were getting weren't accurate either. >> opinion columnists on the right or mainstream reporters? >> mainstream reporters to opinion columnist. there's a famous scene in bob woodward's, his last book about the iraq war where paul wolfowitz brings in columnists from "the atlantic," one from what was formally "newsweek" and
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says i'm bringing you in as advisers to pitch the war to the american people. >> i'm with you. you're dead right. if anybody was there, they have to answer for it. lawrence lindsay, white house economic adviser at the time, made war with iraq make it sound like it wouldn't cause a dent in the economy. "the likely economic effects would be relatively small. if the united states goes to war in iraq to depose saddam hussein." "the key issue is oil and a regime change in iraq would facilitate an increase in world oil which would tend to lower oil prices here." there's more of this. >> oil prices went up. the number i always used to say when i talk about iraq often and paul and i would have these debates and when this was really in conscience, $20 billion on air-conditioning in iraq per year during the height of the year. $20 billion on air-conditioning in iraq and afghanistan. >> in 2002, richard pearl, chairman of the defense policy
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board said "we're not talking about a massive invasion along the lines of '91. we're talking about a much more modest effort in which the united states will assist iraqis in freeing their country." let me get over to paul about the manpower and loss of lives. and the world you live with. 31,000 wounded. about 600 amputees. give me a sense of your own personal experience with what the personal cost of this war was. besides the loss of 4,000 american service people? >> we didn't see too many of those air conditioners. when i was in iraq, i lost friends. we lost colleagues. we saw a lot of carnage and destruction. and i think the real untold story is the price we're going to pay for generations to come. a million veterans, including myself, served in iraq and are now home. and we all know that there was a real shortage of planning on the ground in iraq. they didn't have enough interpreters. didn't have enough body armor. didn't have enough humvees. there's a shortage now on the home front as veterans are coming home.
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there aren't enough paperwork processors, aren't enough psychiatrists, there aren't enough counselors. we have an opportunity here to repeat the mistakes of what happened on the ground in iraq as the veterans come ohome. this week our organization is trying to focus on taking care of our brothers and sisters who come home and have challenges and really need everybody to double down. >> michael, that's another thing. i remember looking at a poll about the time we went into the war. it said if we're going to face, the united states, significant casualties, should we go? a slight majority, 51%, said we shouldn't go. there was this delusion. it was sold to the people that somehow this would be skip in, skip out, use a couple guys like in grenada, couple hundred people, it was bad, but it wasn't the end of the world. that attitude, this is going to be a pretty clean -- used words like cake walk. remember those terms. you know. >> this was going to be our next stage in exercising the demons from vietnam. people were thinking more gulf war i than vietnam. anyone who brought up at the time, hey, this could turn out
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to be vietnam was literally laughed aside, was considered not credible. so i think it was very clear they were trying to make, sell this as a nonviolent thing. you know, the time paul was over there, you had the defense secretary here saying, oh, it's just the dead enders. you had cheney saying the dead enders and rumsfeld saying there's not an insurgency. i would want to ask paul, when you're hearing that when you're actually in combat, i mean, if you're paying attention to that stuff, but that was part of selling it, too, we're going to be home by christmas. would any general, or the president says the troops are going to be home by christmas, you know they're lying. it happened in world war i, every time. >> paul, you were serving our country, thank you for it. do you have a sense there was an ideological piece to this, not democrat, not republican, but go into a country like walk, get rid of its military from top to bottom because we didn't like the politics of its leaders and start all over in a way that was
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far more difficult than it would have been if we stood up the army they had, work to clean out the crazies then gotten out of town, then we wouldn't have gotten so many guys it seems to me. >> there was a clear disconnect to the realities of war. there was definitely too few people who had personal experience. and now i think, you know, you still see that. you know, secretary hagel has an opportunity to put a human face on the department of defense and on our troops in combat. he's an example of someone who understands the human cost of war, himself. but i think we're still paying for the costs of war of vietnam. i'm in washington this week with veterans from all across the country who are advocating for reform at the v.a. there are about 900,000 folks, disability claims waiting at the v.a. to be processed. many of those are vietnam veterans. they're not just iraq and afghanistan veterans. the wait time for first-time claim is about 300 days. if you're in a city like new york, it's 600. if you're in l.a., it's over 600. if you're in, you know, your their in philly, 517 days in philly. so we're not taking care of
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vietnam vets, not taking care of our iraq and afghanistan vets. that's the real story this week. the media, if they want to do a wake-up call, here's the issue to do it on. focus on our veterans. >> we'll do it. i promise you. paul, get back to us. we'll get back to that. i want to see the new v.a. directory. it's an important position. thank you, michael hastings and paul rieckhoff as always. we'll be right back after this. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. our financial advice is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families.
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well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy. for current and former military members and their families. get advice from the people who share your values. for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa. ha! back to "hardball." now the "sideshow." for all the craziness we saw at the conservative political action conference, cpac, if there's one visual i won't forget it's likely to be sarah palin producing a big gulp during her speech. every so often a politician turns to props like that to get her message across. over the years i've seen the winners and losers. let's start with the winners. think back to the heat of the health care debate in 2009.
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alan grayson brought a few posters along. >> if you get sick in america, this is what the republicans want you to do. if you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this. die quickly. that's right. the republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick. >> well, now to the campaign trail. remember when mitt romney's advisers said a transition from primary season to the general election campaign was almost like an etch a sketch? you can kind of shake it up and start all over again. well, enter romney's opponents giving new life to what i thought had become a forgotten children's toy. >> imagine had mitt romney been around at the time we were drafting our constitution? he'd have just shaken it and just shook it up after to rewrite it. >> given everything people have said about governor romney's flip-flops over the years, this was sort of capturing what everybody was afraid of.
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in a way we probably ought to thank his communications director for telling the truth. >> finally, minnesota senator al franken made transition from comedy to politics he left funny stuff behind to take on serious issues. still the two worlds of al franken merged when he rattled off a list of potentially dangerous consequences of not raising the debt ceiling back in 2011. >> no federal government employees, including counterterrorism agents, in the fbi, for example, no border agents. now, before we default, we could have time to make this sign for all points of entry. that's just the tip of the iceberg. >> i think he was being sarcastic, don't you? now to the ones who were ill advised for whatever reason. first iowa republican congressman steve king with the solution for illegal immigration
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in the form of a construction project on the house floor. >> you can't shut that off unless we build a fence and wall. i want to put a fence in and a wall in. i designed one. this would be an example, then, of how that wall would look. you can also deconstruct it the same way. you can take it back down. i also say we need to do a few other things on top of that wall. one of them put a little bit of wire on top to provide a disincentive for people to climb over top or put a ladder there. we can electrify this wire, not a current that would kill anybody, but would be a deterrent. we do it in livestock all the time. >> now for one that made the loser list. it never came to fruition. "just before advocates for senior citizens plan to host on stage a 24-foot cabin cruiser bearing the slogan "medicare vouchers are a titanic mistake,"
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the capitol police sank the reference judging the symbolic titanic too heavy for the stage. authorities banished it to the side depriving senator edward m. kennedy and other speakers of a camera-friendly backdrop." finally the one that struck me as more than your typical political fumble, think 2003, president george w. bush and an aircraft carrier. yes, the mission accomplished banner that accompanied bush's 2003 speech about the end of major combat operations in the iraq war. of course, it backfired big-time and the blame game began. white house officials said the pea piece had been requested by the navy but confirmed the production and placement was up to them. in a 2008 interview, w. himself said the banner, quote, conveyed the wrong message. i'll say. duh. up next, rush limbaugh isn't happy about the republican hunt for a big game change. he says the problem with republican party, his party, is it's too conservative but it's not conservative enough. i love him dancing there. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics.
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i'm julia boorstin with your cnbc market wrap. the dow ekes out a gain rising three points. the s&p 500 falls more than three points and the nasdaq sheds 8 1/2 points. worries of cyprus continue to weigh on the markets. rejected a bro posed tax on bank deposits casting doubt on a bailout. in the u.s. housing starts jumped .8% in february meeting expectations. meanwhile, building permits a gauge of future construction rose to the highest level since 2008. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball."
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there's no one reason we lost. our message was weak. our ground game was insufficient. we weren't inclusive. we were behind in both data and digital. and our primary and debate process needed improvement. >> there's the lift of a driving dream. welcome back to "hardball." rnc chair rience priebus reporting on the state of the republican party and brought relief to establishment types but also angered conservativeses who say priebus, that man there, was exactly wrong, that the party can't win if it moderates its right wing positions. here was rush limbaugh reacting to priebus. >> they think they have to re-brand. reach out to minorities. got to moderate their tone here and moderate their tone there. that's not at all what they've got to do. all they have to do, the republican party lost because it's not conservative.
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it didn't get its base out in the 2012 election. >> well, wasn't just rush, the statement from the tea party patriots reads "americans and those in the tea party movement don't need an autopsy report from rnc to know they failed to promote our principles and lost because of it." the antiabortion group susan b. anthony list responded by saying "republican candidates failed to properly engage in the pro life issue. rather than seeking to grow and energize the pro-life majority, the gop allowed its to operate solely on the defensive." michael steele, former chairman of republican national committee as well as msnbc political analyst. susan is contributing editor at "u.s. news and world report." your thoughts now. is priebus right? are the critics, the defenders of the old order right? >> there's a combination that has to take place. all i want to say at the outset, if that's all it took to keep my job was to not have a ground game and not win elections and to, you know, just race a lot of
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money, you raise $300 million, you can't win one election? i mean, it makes no sense to me. i think the base is right to say that in terms of the message there was no cohesion, there was no way to grab, to pull the people toward something positive. we were on the defensive for 18 months. how does that happen? you don't have a ground game, don't have a message, don't have organization, i guess that's what happens. i want my money back. >> i will now make a totally nonpartisan point of view which is true. every political party that blows it says we don't get our message across. they all say it. in other words, our message was divine. >> there's truth to that to a certain extent, chris. you know, part of the process begins with how you communicate what you believe. >> is that why mcgovern lost? is that why goldwater lost? didn't get their message across? >> that's a different -- >> your party got its message across with the 47%. that got the message across. that was what the party believes. >> that's not what the party
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believes. that's my point. >> it's what romney believed. he said it. >> that's what romney said. that's not necessarily what anybody else believe e ebelieve. that's what he said. that's the problem. >> he was faking it being an elitist? >> i don't know what -- >> mitt romney was faking it as an elitist? i'm sorry. >> i think one of the things that was interesting in that report aside from the demographic stuff which should have been pretty obvious to them which they should have figured out years ago. >> there are an increasing number of hispanics. >> which they're in complete denial over during the campaign and that was in the autopsy they did last november. the image of the party was one that was kind of just old and stuffy and mean and intolerant and they're not helping -- now, most republicans -- i don't see you that way -- most republicans i know are not like that. the loudest republicans -- >> what about the image of republicans being mr. wilson in "dennis the menace"? get off my lawn, kid. i heard angry reaction to what
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the gop autopsy report might mean for the 2016 republican primary including fewer debates and earlier convention and voting via primaries, not caucuses. rand paul adviser told "politico," "elimination of caucus would mean nuclear war with the grassroots, social conservatives and the ron paul movement." "i am troubled by the possibility of a condensed presidential primary process which undoubtedly gives an advantage to the establishment backed candidates and the wealthiest candidates." we in the media love them. those debates are wild. the craziest people out there. herman cain and his 9/9/9. had bachmann. you elite party people want to hide the crazies. you want to hide the crazedy. >> no, chris, i was the one who open up the process. absolutely, agree with both of those ygentlemen in their campaigns. absolutely. this process should be opened. allow for the base to express itself, number ones and candidates to have a fair shot
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to make their case. >> what's the elite up to? >> they want to control the outcome. they want to make sure it's nice, clean and tidy. i'm sorry. politics is not nice. >> susan, in our business, i know what we want. we want wide open. we want the spectacle. we want to see the fights. ask any so-called media liberal person, they want to cover any convention in the world because it's the biggest show, right? >> absolutely. the problem the party is having now is the same problem it was having during the campaign which is that it's let this element of the party define it increasingly. yes, they needed them to get out a certain part of the base, but that cannot be the message for the entire party or they will never win another election. >> who's going to win? insiders or outsiders? >> you know who i'm keeping my eye on? rand paul. >> i think you're right. >> i think he's got something there. he's pulling the party back to its fundamental core root about individual independence, liberty and freedom.
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that libertarian notion. >> barry goldwater buttons out that say 27 on them. 27 million votes in the country, but boy, had a good time doing it. rand paul. he can win the nomination. he will not win the general. hillary clinton versus rand paul. >> you laugh now. >> a tough one. >> that's a good one. that's a good one. >> you're a party man. all right. thank you, michael, thank you, susan. >> thank you. up next, sarah palin versus -- this is my favorite road show. give me the don king. put him on the stage. go across the country with him and her. what a show. it's a spectator sport when republicans attack each other. and they are colorful. this is "hardball," the place for politics. you hardly know i exist. that's too bad. 'cuz if my pressure relief valve gets stuck... [ booooooom! ] ...we hot water heaters can transform into rocket propelled wrecking balls. and if you got the wrong home insurance coverage, it's your bank account that might explode. so get allstate. [ dennis ] good hands. good home. make sure you have the right home protection.
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new poll numbers from florida where republican governor rick scott's in real trouble. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. according to a new ppp poll, governor scott is trailing his predecessor former republican turned democrat charlie crist. crist at 52%, scott down to 40% and we'll be right back can a body wash go beyond basic cleansing? olay ultra moisture body wash can with more moisturizers than seven bottles of the leading body wash. with ultra moisture your body wash is anything but basic. soft, smooth skin with olay. thto fight chronic. osteoarthritis pain.c. to fight chronic low back pain.
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reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help. ♪ ♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours and help plan for your retirement. visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review. this is going to be fun. we're back. it's no secret karl rove takes a dim view of sarah palin, and she returns to favor. last weekend their long simmering feud boiled over after
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palin slammed rove's efforts to vet more electable candidates during his cpac speech. >> if these experts who keep losing elections, keep getting re-hired, raking in millions, if they feel that strongly about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck up or stay in the truck. buck up and run. the architects can head on back to -- [ applause ] -- they can head on back to the great lone star state and put their name on some ballot. though for their sake, i hope they give themselves a discount on their consulting services. >> and that didn't sit well with the architect, himself, karl rove. he hit back hard. the very next day on fox. >> if she can play in primaries, other people can play in primaries. i'm a volunteer. i don't take a dime from my work with american red cross. i pay my own travel expenses out of my own pocket. i don't think i'm a good candidate, a balding fat guy.
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second of all, i'd say if i did run for office and win, i'd serve out my term. i wouldn't leave office midterm. >> punch. i'd serve out my term. this is more than a personal battle. palin and rove are the faces of the rift within the the faces o the rift within the republican party, the right wingers versus the establishment. hardball strategists. mike feldman is a democrat. john feehery is a republican. who should they bet on as the face of the party who should win. you' do you want palin or karl rove out organizing and vetting? >> i'd rather have neither out there. i think karl rove knows how to win elections. he won two with george bush. palin was a successf fuful -- i alaska. she was -- you know, she had a -- >> you're so cold about this. i have never seen -- i mean, i don't agree with anything she
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says. but that is a political genuine article. she puts a better show -- that's why she died on fox. that booth she was up in wasilla didn't work on the stage. moving around. obviously a very attractive person. moving around on that stage. look how she dominates that stage. what is that if it isn't p politics? >> she's a great show person. very good speech maker. she wasn't a particularly good governor. she quit mid-term. i think that killed her. she really can't articulate in any convincing way a governing philosophy that works in the future. >> let me ask you, michael, can you squeeze the juice out of a grapefruit and still sell it? >> watching these two up there -- >> answer my questions. can you squeeze the juice out of a political movement, the movement of crazy, and just get the architecture and still have a winning party? >> no, you can't. that's what she's tapped into, chris. she's no longer the leading edge of the tea party movement.
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but she does stand for them. when she's dictated to by the consultant class, karl roves and operatives saying we're going to stifle the grassroots of the party, there are a lot of people nodding their heads up and down. look at rand paul, someone like that building a movement out there. karl rove basically said you can't compete in the republican primary process. that's a big problem for them. >> closed shop is not going to sell with the republican party. >> michael's on to something there. i think there's a rebellion against the bush years. the tenth anniversary of iraq. there's a rebellion about the expansion of government. the fact you have a huge homeland security. the grassroots really feeds off that. i think that palin does speak to that. that's why rand paul for me is a very interesting candidate. >> i find him, too. yesterday while delivering the gop autopsy report, rnc chair reince priebus said there will be a $10 million initiative for minority outreach. it seems like sarah palin doesn't think much of that.
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then there's donald trump who actually does his kind of outreach. let's listen to him. he says let's get more white people in the country. >> it also means ending the poisonous practice of treating americans of different social, ethnic, religious groups as different electorates to be pandered to with different promises. if we truly believe the words of our other founding document, the l declaration of independence, with its world changing assertion that, yes, all men are created equal, then there are no hispanic issues or african-american issues or women's issues. there are only american issues. >> why aren't we letting people in from europe? i have many friends, many, many friends -- and nobody wants to talk this. nobody wants to say it. >> she comes up and says no more
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hi high hyphenated americans. he's up there pitching for white americans. >> for the life of me when we don't invite the two most popular governors, bob mcdonnell and chris christie, and have donnell trump db he's an entertaining guy on his tv show. he shouldn't be in politics. the fact of the maert i think sarah palin's right on one thing. we are not a pander party. we are a reform party. we have to also reform our message to make sure everybody understands -- >> mike, how does the democrats hold off against any republican comeback? you know it's going to be very tough in 2014 for the democrats. how do they avoid the slide back that always seems to occur after a presidential election, especially in the sixth year of a presidency? >> sure, look, the math is against us and the senate is looking increasingly competitive. but it goes back. it's more than just message, chris. while sarah palin would like to point to the rhetorical problems that the republican party has, if their policies aren't appealing to middle class voters, african-americans, hispanics, women, then they're not going to win national
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elections. >> okay. michael? >> frankly they're going to lose mid-terms, too. >> michael feldman, john feehery. happy st. patrick's day. you got the tie. i had it yesterday. let me return with the circular firing squad assembled in today's republican party. you're watching "hardball," "the place for politics." with hertz gold plus rewards, you skip the counters, the lines, and the paperwork. zap. it's our fastest and easiest way to get you into your car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪ suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away.
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